General News of 2014-03-19

Roadblock: University of Ghana justifies decision

The University of Ghana says it cannot allow unregulated driving of vehicles into the University's campus as that could create nuisance and hinder teaching and learning.

Director of Public Affairs of the nation's premier university, Mrs. Stella Amoah says the decision to restrict vehicular movements on the university's campus, is in line with international best practice and in the interest of students.

Authorities of the University of Ghana, Legon, following a government directive to suspend the collection of road tolls on campus, introduced a sticker system by which all vehicles using the University’s Achimota and Haatso entry points are required to have a sticker.

Each sticker costs GH¢400 and entitles one to drive in and out of the university using those gates for a period of one year.

Parents whose children attend the University of Ghana Basic School, say they cannot afford to pay the Gh¢400 to obtain a sticker to access the institution for a period of one year.

But Mrs. Amoah insists: "We had a good reason why we introduced" the stickers "The university has over 30,000 plus students...if we have the likes of 'Abeka Lapaz' [a busy-noisy commercial centre in Accra] on campus, I do not think that is how we want things to go," she maintained.

"It will make the road safer; it would be more secured and make it more congenial for us to carry out our academic activities," she added.

According to her, the policy is to deter drivers who have no business on campus to stop using the university as a thoroughfare.

Two commercial drivers' unions that have registered with the institution have however, been granted access under a special arrangement, she disclosed.

The University of Ghana has been ebroiled in a deep controversy after the authorities there tried to toll the university's roads.

The authorities said a loan they took to build the roads needed to be paid. Public protestations however forced the government to intervene.

The university suspended the collection of the tolls but introduced the sticker system which is also being opposed by motorists.

Mrs Amoah said the introduction of the stickers was done to protect the sanctity of the university as an institution of higher learning.

She said suggestions that all roads into the university had been closed to the public were false.

The main entrance into the university at Okponglo, she said, remains open to the public.